Open letter to Niantic on some hubmle suggestions for Pokemon Go
First of, thank you for a great sequel (so to speak) to Ingress. I played Ingress a lot and really enjoyed it.
Now, I have switched to Pokemon Go and would like to humbly suggest some features, additions and fixes.
Squash the bugs
There seems to be quite a few glitches and the game crashes, freezes and is loosing contact with the servers to often. Please fix that!
Crowd source features
Please use some kind of user interaction to get to know what your users would like to see in the game. There are web based tools where users can suggest features and changes so that other users can vote on what they would like to see in the app. That would be an easy way for the community to tell what they want to see in the game.
I think the core loop in the game is quite weak. You find a pokemon, you throw a ball. Sometimes you get it, quite often you don’t and the Pokemon breaks free. You throw more balls and eventually the pokemon either runs away or gets caught.
My humble Pokemon Go suggestions
Why not implement poke training gyms, where you can hone your skills in poke ball throwing?
The game is painstakingly slow, and shows information to long after one has caught a pokemon. After the first ten pokemons have been caught, we don´t need the animations and poke stats.
Another thing that takes to long is to evolve a pokemon. Yes, the first time you evolve a pokemon to a new form it is quite interesting/exciting to see what it will become. But after the first time it get´s old rather fast. The egg hatching animation is the same.
One important task in Poke Go is the maintenance of your collected pokemons. But why do I need to do it one by one? Wouldn´t be better if I could mark the umphteen pidgeys I want to transfer and just be done with it instead of the boring chore of clicking the pokemon, touching the menu, touching transfer, confirm the transfer to the professor and then do a rinse and repeat until finished?
Better distance measurement is of the essence I believe. For example, both apple and samsung have great step counters in their devices. I think you should use their well honed system for distance measurement instead of what you have now. Because what you have now isn´t working very well.
The journal is an interesting start, but why stop there? Think about the quantified self and how it inspires people. I would like to see a daily/weekly/monthly stats screen. How far have I walked. Wich PokeStops do I use most often. How many pokemons have I caught of each type. How many balls/raspberries/items have I used. Catch of the day/week/month.
Timers and challenges would be a great addition to the game. Put together with the quantified self above, you have created a great competition form of the pokemon universe. How many pokemons can you catch within the next thirty minutes? How many in this area? How many of this type?
Then you use quantified self and timers/challenges and roll it out as a community feature, with leagues. Who catches the most pokemons in an area? Who is the fastest pokemon catcher? Best hitrate? Luckiest? Let users create challenges!
Then, it gets meaningful with friends lists. Let me follow pokemon players and see what they are doing (via the journal/quantified self). Let me challenge them and let me compete with them.